Applications of Anti-CRISPR Proteins in Genome Editing and Biotechnology

C. Kraus and E. J. Sontheimer,  Journal of Molecular Biology,  2023.

In the ten years since the discovery of the first anti-CRISPR (Acr) proteins, the number of validated Acrs has expanded rapidly, as has our understanding of the diverse mechanisms they employ to suppress natural CRISPR-Cas immunity. Many, though not all, function via direct, specific interaction with Cas protein effectors. The abilities of Acr proteins to modulate the activities and properties of CRISPR-Cas effectors have been exploited for an ever-increasing spectrum of biotechnological uses, most of which involve the establishment of control over genome editing systems. This control can be used to minimize off-target editing, restrict editing based on spatial, temporal, or conditional cues, limit the spread of gene drive systems, and select for genome-edited bacteriophages. Anti-CRISPRs have also been developed to overcome bacterial immunity, facilitate viral vector production, control synthetic gene circuits, and other purposes. The impressive and ever-growing diversity of Acr inhibitory mechanisms will continue to allow the tailored applications of Acrs.

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